Santa Fe Car Accident Attorney
Car Accidents in Santa Fe, New Mexico
If you or a loved one are the victims of a car accident, you can contact The Fine Law Firm to fight for you. Our Santa Fe car accident attorneys represent victims and families of car accidents and will help you make your first steps towards recovery today.
When You Choose The Fine Law Firm, You Are Getting:
- Experienced car accident attorneys with thorough knowledge of the law
- Local New Mexico attorneys, familiar with New Mexico roads and highways
- Successful advocates who work nonstop to get you the resources you need to push forward with your life
It is physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging to recover from a car accident. Call The Fine Law Firm today and learn how we can help support you through this time. Your consultation is free and confidential.
How a Santa Fe Car Accident Injury Attorney Can Help
Victims of car accidents may be due to compensation for their injuries and losses. They are more likely to receive this compensation with the help of a skilled car accident attorney like those at The Fine Law Firm.
Insurance companies try to settle quickly and for less than an accident victim deserves. It is crucial to speak with a car accident attorney who will:
- Calculate your current medical costs and damages
- Estimate your future costs including placing a value on pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional trauma, and more
- Negotiate with the insurance company to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible
- If needed, take your claim to court before a judge or jury
The Fine Law Firm has decades of experience. We will handle the paperwork, phone calls with the insurance company, negotiations, and any legal hearings or trial, allowing you to recover from your injury. There are deadlines for filing your car accident claim, so meet with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Santa Fe
There are several types of car accidents each caused by their own unique set of circumstances. The most common car accidents include the following:
- Head-on collisions. Head-on collisions frequently occur when vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide head-on. However, a single driver can hit an animal or fixed object in a head-on collision. These accidents regularly happen at high speeds and are fatal.
- Side-impact collisions. Side-impact collisions are also known as T-bone collisions and take place when one vehicle drives into the side of another. The impact results in a “T” shape. These accidents are particularly damaging and dangerous to passengers or drivers on the side of impact.
- Rear-end collisions. These are the most common car accidents. Rear-end collisions occur when a driver runs into the back of the car ahead of them.
- Single-car collisions. Single-car collisions happen when only one vehicle incurs damages without the involvement of another vehicle.
- Vehicle rollovers. A vehicle rollover is when a car flips over onto its side or roof. This may happen due to force from an object or driver error. Vehicles with a high center of gravity, like SUVs, are more prone to rollovers.
- Multi-vehicle collisions. A multi-vehicle collision, or pile-up, is a crash involving three or more vehicles. These generally occur on busy highways and freeways and may be difficult for other cars to avoid.
- Sideswipe collisions. Side-swipe collisions happen when two cars come into contact while parallel to one another. They are usually less dangerous than other accidents.
Identifying your type of car accident is often one of the first steps in determining fault, as the type of crash can point to the cause.
Top Causes of Automobile Accidents in Santa Fe
Most car accidents in Santa Fe are caused by human error. Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to the road and do their best to prevent collisions. Unfortunately, many drivers fall short of this responsibility and don’t do their part to keep the roads safe, resulting in serious and fatal car accidents. Car accidents can be caused by many lapses in judgment by drivers, including:
- Distracted driving
- Drug and alcohol use
- Reckless driving
- Road rage
- Red-light running
- Following too closely
- Wrong-way driving
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Violating traffic laws
- Poor vehicle maintenance
Car crashes in Santa Fe are also caused by hazards not related to drivers, such as defective vehicle parts and roadway defects. If you’re not sure what caused your car accident in Santa Fe, an attorney can help you determine fault. Then, your lawyer can help you prove fault during a personal injury claim by collecting evidence of who or what caused the crash.
Car Accident Injuries in Santa Fe
Although there are advances in car safety and safety restraint systems, car accidents are still among the leading causes of accidental injury and death in the United States. Car accident injuries range from mild to severe.
These injuries may include:
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones and fractures
Serious car accident injuries may require very costly medical treatment such as surgery, rehabilitation, ongoing therapy, and assistive care. Victims are often left unable to work or live their everyday lives.
New Mexico Car Accident Laws
Recovering fair financial compensation after a car accident in New Mexico requires proper navigation of the state’s related laws. This is one of the many things that a car accident attorney can do for you. Every state treats car accident cases differently. Your rights and options after being injured in a car crash can change based on the state where the collision took place. Three of the most important New Mexico car accident laws to know as an injured victim are:
- Fault law. There are two different types of car insurance states: fault and no-fault. New Mexico is in the majority with a traditional fault-based system. The person or party at fault for your car accident is responsible for paying for it, meaning you will need to determine fault for your crash before filing a claim with that party’s insurance provider. States with no-fault laws require all drivers to recover benefits from their own insurers, regardless of fault.
- Pure comparative negligence rule. New Mexico also uses a comparative negligence law, meaning that an injured accident victim can be found at fault for an accident and still recover partial financial compensation. Under this rule, the courts will diminish the victim’s recovery in proportion to his or her percentage of fault, up to 99 percent.
- Statute of limitations for filing a claim. A statute of limitations is a law imposing a time limit on the ability to bring a civil lawsuit. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations on a car accident injury claim is three years from the date of the crash, in most cases. If a loved one passes away in a fatal car accident, you will have three years from the date of death, not the date of the crash, to file.
If this is your first car accident claim, it can be difficult to correctly navigate New Mexico’s related laws, rules and filing requirements. If you hire an attorney at the beginning of your claim, however, you can rest and relax while an attorney handles the complicated legal elements of your case for you. You don’t have to worry about missing a deadline or making another mistake that could bar you from financial recovery with a lawyer by your side.
What Compensation Is Available for a Car Crash in New Mexico?
No amount of money can take back what happened to you if you were injured in a car accident in New Mexico. Obtaining fair financial compensation and holding the at-fault driver or another party accountable, however, can give you a sense of justice and closure. Recovering financial compensation can also allow you and your family to move forward without as much stress connected to finances, such as how you will pay your bills after missing work to recover from an accident.
If your car accident claim succeeds, you can receive financial compensation (also known as damages) for the following losses, and more:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing health care costs
- Permanent or long-term disability
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Property damage repairs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost quality of life
- Wrongful death damages
- Punitive damages
It is important to write down all of the ways in which a car accident has impacted you, your loved ones and your life before filing an insurance claim. Include a full list of your losses in the insurance demand letter – the first document you send to an auto insurance company during the processing of your claim. An attorney from The Fine Law Firm can help you create a comprehensive list of your losses.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
This is a question that only an attorney can answer for you after carefully reviewing the facts of your individual car accident case. An average car accident settlement does not exist, as different claimants can receive significantly different amounts of money for their injuries and losses. That being said, you can generally expect greater financial compensation for a more significant or catastrophic injury, as this type of injury will result in higher medical bills and greater pain and suffering than a minor injury. An attorney can help you calculate your economic and noneconomic damages to make sure that you achieve a fair recovery.
How to Handle the Insurance Process After a Car Accident
Even if you’ve always kept up with your car insurance premiums, an insurance company might not pay you what you deserve during a car accident claim in New Mexico. This is because insurance companies are for-profit organizations. To save their investors money, insurers often try to diminish the payouts that they give to claimants – even if this means handling the claim in bad faith. Insurance bad faith means that the insurance company is using unethical or illegal tactics to get out of paying a client for a covered car accident.
Keep the following tips in mind when dealing with an insurance company after a car accident to better protect your rights:
- Don’t admit fault for the car accident.
- Don’t talk about your injuries (or lack thereof) until you’ve seen a doctor.
- If an insurance claims adjuster asks you to give a recorded statement, politely decline.
- When answering questions, keep your responses short and honest.
- Instead of signing a Medical Authorization Release Form (given to you by the insurer), send the insurance company only the medical documents that are related to your crash.
- Do not rush into a fast settlement or accept the first settlement offer.
You always have the option of hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you during the insurance claims process in New Mexico. A lawyer understands how insurance companies work and the tactics that they often use to deceive claimants. If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with an insurance claims adjuster on your own, have an attorney take over negotiations for you. An attorney knows when to get aggressive with insurance adjusters, as well as when to take your case to trial, if necessary.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost?
The number one reason why many car accident victims attempt to handle their injury claims on their own instead of hiring lawyers is concern over how much a lawyer will cost. Car accidents are expensive enough without tacking on legal fees. Luckily, many personal injury law firms – including The Fine Law Firm – operate on a contingency fee basis. This is a type of payment arrangement that protects an injured accident victim from ever paying out of pocket for an attorney, win or lose.
At The Fine Law Firm, if we succeed in holding someone else responsible for your car accident, we will deduct our attorney’s fees directly out of the settlement or jury verdict achieved on your behalf. We will take a pre-agreed upon percentage of the total award. If we do not obtain financial compensation for your injuries and losses, you won’t pay a dime for our legal services, guaranteed. This payment arrangement is how we make our high-quality legal services available to every accident victim in Santa Fe.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Santa Fe
- Pull over as close to where the car accident happened as possible. Don’t exit your vehicle until it’s safe to do so.
- Check yourself and anyone else involved in the wreck to see if anyone is injured.
- Immediately call 911 from the scene of the car accident. Request paramedics if necessary.
- Don’t admit fault.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- Take pictures and videos of the crash scene and your damaged vehicle.
- Go to a hospital in Santa Fe for professional medical care without delay.
- Call the other driver’s car insurance company for an initial crash report.
- Obtain copies of your police report, medical records and insurance documents.
- Take all documents related to your crash to a car accident lawyer in Santa Fe for a free consultation before proceeding with the claims process.
Don’t Try To Navigate A Car Accident Claim Alone – Call The Fine Law Firm
If you or your loved one need help with physical and financial recovery from a car accident, contact us as soon as possible. Call the car accident attorneys at The Fine Law Firm. No one should suffer for the negligent acts of another. Our attorneys will work to ensure you get the fair and just compensation you deserve.